By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.
Long-time Negros football patron Ricky Yanson of Dynamic FC and Dynamic Football League (DFL) is the newly-elected president of the Negros Occidental Football Association (NOFA).
This was confirmed yesterday by NOFA General-Secretary Paulline Javelona following the association’s recent meeting.
Yanson has been the frontrunner of the successful staging of the age-group DFL, which has provided avenue for young aspiring football players from the grassroots.
Joining Yanson are San Carlos City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr. as Vice President, and Board of Directors Junie Lizares (Minuluan FC), Raymando Baldava (Don Bosco FC), Mariano Antonio Cui III (San Carlos FC), Jose Ma. Sanson (Bago City FC), Augustine Rey Rivas (Kabankalan FC), Gerald Pornan (Ma-ao FC), and former president Charlie Cojuangco as honorary board member.
Javelona said the new set of officers will formally take office next month, with the general assembly scheduled January 30.
Meanwhile, the San Carlos City FC closed the year 2014 with a huge success after registering three titles in secondary girls’ futsal, secondary boys’ football, and tertiary men.
The secondary girls recently booked victory over the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos during the Palarong Panlalawigan while the boys defeated La Castellana (Area V), 4-nil.
Meanwhile, the San Carlos collegiate team outplayed the West Visayas State College of Technology in the just-concluded Regional State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association meet played at the Carlos Hilado Memorial State College in Talisay City.
According to John Carmona, club’s technical director, more programs will be implemented next year particularly among the players and coaches to further strengthen the sports in San Carlos City./ WDJ
Don’t be surprised to see a slew of new faces donning the national football team’s colors next year.
With their first competitive tournament still in the middle of next year, Azkals manager Dan Palami yesterday said they will once again refocus their efforts on recruiting young and quality players for the national side seeing action in the first quarter of 2015.
The need to strengthen the side was underlined after the Azkals narrowly missed out on the AFC Challenge Cup title in the Maldives last May and bowing out in the AFF Suzuki Cup early this month
“We really see the need to improve all areas in the team if we want to reach the next level,” Palami said. “It won’t be easy, but if we can focus our efforts on recruiting young players, then we are on the right track.”
Palami is training his sights on finally securing the services of Mike Ott, the younger brother of midfielder, Manny Ott, who was among the outstanding Azkals players in the Suzuki Cup.
The younger Ott, 19, plays for FC Nurnberg in the second division in Germany.
He was called up by former Azkals coach Michael Weiss for the friendly against Hong Kong in June last year, but the attacking midfielder wasn’t fielded in what was a highly-physical affair at Mongkok Stadium.
Azkals coach Thomas Dooley has already expressed his interest in tapping Mike Ott.
Also high on the Azkals’ wish list is Australia-based Iain Ramsay, who has yet to commit for the Philippines despite numerous attempts to get his services.
Although he is also eligible to play for Australia, Ramsay considers playing for the Philippines a “great option.”
The Azkals are also awaiting for touted defender Alvaro Silva to finally secure his passport and play for the team in the World Cup Qualifiers.
The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women's Championship 2015 will be held in Vietnam with participation of eight teams in the region, reported the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on its website on Tuesday.
VFF's report was made after AFF Council held a drawing ceremony recently in Malaysia during which it announced the official schedule for football tournaments in Southeast Asia in 2015.
Accordingly, Vietnam will host the AFF Women's Championship 2015, scheduled to kick off in southern HCM City in May, with participation of eight teams from Australia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and host Vietnam.
They will be divided into two groups, with Group A including Australia, Indonesia, Laos and Thailand, and Group B having Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The eight teams will play under the round-robin format for scores, with the top two teams of each group entering the semifinals, then the two winners playing in the final for the champion trophy.
The AFF Women's Championship is the competition in women's football organized by the ASEAN Football Federation, contested by the national teams of nations in Southeast Asia.
The tournament was launched in 2004, hosted by Vietnam and won by Myanmar. If the 2015 tournament is included, Vietnam has hosted the event for five times.
So far, Myanmar and Vietnam each has won the trophy twice.
In the previous tournament held in 2013 in Myanmar, Japan became the champion after beating Australia 5-3 in the penalty shootout, while Vietnam and Myanmar were placed third and fourth, respectively, according to VFF.
Male', MALDIVES - New Radiant has signed Pedro Marenco, the former goal keeper of Philippines league champions Stallion FC, to replace Imran Mohamed.
The news come less than 24hrs after Imran confirmed his move to Maziya yesterday.
The 23 year old and 6 feet 1 inch Spanish keeper has also played under New Radiant's former coach Simon McMenemy. A club official confirmed that Simon spoke highly of the young keeper and that played a key role in the club going for him.
"We spoke with Simon about Pedro and Simon gave a very positive feedback that convinced us to sign him" club official said.
Together Pedro, New Radiant also signed former BG and Eagles keeper Yamaan on a two year contract.
Yamaan has the experience of playing in the top division and it is yet to be known who breaks into Mika's first eleven.
New Radiant has a good history of signing foreign keepers. They reached the semi final of AFC Cup in 2005 with a Sri Lankan keeper.
- See more at: http://www.maldivesoccer.com/s/Blues-sign-foreign-keeper-5646#sthash.OOl29xlA.WkUdan9Y.dpuf
A two-year contract extension is in place for coach Thomas Dooley who steered the Philippines to a runner-up finish in the AFC Challenge Cup and another semifinal appearance in the AFF Suzuki Cup early this year.
The Philippine Football Federation has already offered Dooley the new contract that will pave the way for the coach to handle the team that will play in the World Cup Qualifiers next year.
Dooley’s current contract runs until February, but the coach met with Azkals manager Dan Palami and PFF president Mariano Araneta earlier in the week to discuss the terms of the new deal.
Palami said Dooley will be evaluated at the end of every year.
“We’re quite happy with the development of the team under coach Dooley,” said Palami.
The German-American coach replaced Michael Weiss last February and implemented a more possession-based style of play. Dooley also showed trust on younger players like Daisuke Sato and Amani Aguinaldo.
The Challenge Cup in the Maldives last May proved to be the first real test for Dooley who came within a whisker of leading the Azkals to a first major title and a spot in the AFC Asian Cup.
Dooley was at the center of controversy after a highly publicized falling out with star Stephan Schrock came in the aftermath of the Challenge Cup loss.
But the Azkals bounced back at the end of the year with a string of impressive performances in the Suzuki Cup, beating Laos and Indonesia on their way to the semifinals where they bowed to eventual champion Thailand.
By Olmin Leyba MANILA, Philippines - Azkals young guns Amani Aguinaldo and Daisuke Sato might get a crack at payback against their counterparts from Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup tormentors Thailand in next year’s Southeast Asian Games in Singapore. At 19 and 20, respectively, Aguinaldo and Sato are within the age limit of 23 in the SEAG and should be hands-down choices to join the U-22 team that the Philippine Football Federation aspires to send in the Singapore SEAG. The Phl footballers missed out the previous SEA Games in Myanmar as they failed to earn the nod of the Philippine Olympic Committee two years ago. But with the presence of a U-22 pool, coached by Australian Jim Fraser, that competed in this year’s Hassanal Bolkiah Cup in Brunei and underwent training in Japan, as well as eligible players from the Azkals team like Aguinaldo and Sato, the PFF is optimistic it would satisfy the Olympic body’s requirements this time around. The PFF had already submitted an initial list of 50 players for the SEAG. The Phl SEAG bets will have to contend with the traditional powers of the region, led by the defending champion Thais. http://www.philstar.com/sports/2014/12/25/1406378/young-azkals-tipped-lead-seag-drive
17. February AFC Cup playoff Maziya (Maldives) vs Ceres Fc
25. February AFC Group Stage Global vs South China (Hong Kong)
11. March AFC Cup Pahang (Malaysia ) vs Global Fc
17. March AFC Cup Yadanarbon or Yangon United (Myanmar) vs Global Fc
24. March AFC U23 qualifiers Thailand vs Philippines in Thailand
26. March AFC U23 qualifiers Philippines vs North Korea in Thailand
28. March AFC U23 qualifiers Philippines vs Cambodia in Thailand
25. March to 31. March FIFA friendly match days (max 2 friendlies)
15. April AFC Cup Global Fc vs Yadanarbon or Yangon United vs Global
28. April AFC Cup South China vs Global
1. May to 10. May AFF Women's Championship in Ho Chi Minh City
12. May AFC Cup Global Fc vs Pahang
5. June to 16. June , SEA Games Singapore
11. June FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Asia, Matchday 1
16. June FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Asia , Matchday 2
Calling all High School Football Teams out there!
Be part of the 2nd SSIS Football Festival on February 4, 2015.
Registration forms are available through e-mail or you can get it here at Stonyhurst Southville International School Batangas Campus, Gulod Itaas, Batangas City. ...
To those coaches who are interested to join, PM me your e-mail address for a soft copy of the registration forms. Or text 09999553503 for more details.
Football never ends here in SSIS Batangas Campus!
President of Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) U Zaw Zaw attended the 13th Asean Football Federation(AFF) Council Meeting held this morning in Malaysia to discuss the matters concerning with 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup hosting and, marketing and financial issues for sustainable development of Asean Football.
It was confirmed in this meeting that the next AFF Council Meeting will take place in Yangon, Myanmar, on 27th February 2015. MFF President told other council members that Myanmar will hold the meeting in line with the duties of the host.
It is learned that the meeting agreed to designate Myanmar as the host for 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup and discussed the matters concerning with the tournament hosting. According the new rules and regulations of Asean Championship, a total of eight teams will participate in the tournament consisting of seven teams directly participating in the finals and one team which is the winner of qualification rounds.
The qualification rounds will be played in Cambodia and the four teams namely Cambodia, Brunei, Timor Leste and Laos which stood at the bottom four places during the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup will participate. Myanmar National Team stood at seventh place but they will directly enter the final stages in 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup hosted by Myanmar. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=487166644755486
GLOBAL FC seeks to create a ripple in its maiden AFC Cup appearance next year with team owner Dan Palami hoping that a strong performance will further open doors for more Filipino clubs competing in the continental level.
Grouped with the finest clubs from Burma (Myanmar), Hong Kong and Malaysia, Global faces an uphill climb to survive the group stage of the competition which will be a double-round, home-and-away format starting March.
Global is coming off a banner season in the United Football League, winning the league in convincing fashion and prevailing in the FA Charity Cup. But Global lost to upstart Ceres La Salle FC in the FA League Cup finals last month.
Ceres, as Smart National Club champion, is also entered in the AFC Cup, but the Bacolod side will need to go through a playoff for the last berth in the East zone.
“It is not just being crowned as champions of the Philippines that matters now. It is also the chance to represent your club in the Asian region,” said Palami.
Palami hopes that the AFC Cup participation will challenge local clubs to become even more competitive.
“This is a good opportunity, not just for Global but for all the clubs as well because the door has been opened for our participation in the AFC Cup,” said Palami.
“We have the growth of clubs also to complement (the success of the Azkals), this will be the best formula for the improvement of Philippine football.”
Global participated in the AFC President’s Cup last year, but crashed out of the group stage.
“The Asian level is a different level. You cannot be complacent and be comfortable with your domestic achievements,” said Palami.
The Philippine Football Federation yesterday ruled out national team coach Thomas Dooley as mentor of the Under-23 side competing in the Philippine contingent in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
PFF general secretary Edwin Gastanes said the federation will be tapping a different coaching staff that will solely focus on the SEA Games team.
Former Azkals coach Michael Weiss handled the last SEA Games side that won only one match and crashed out during the group stage in the 2011 edition in Indonesia.
“It was a mistake and we’ve learned our lesson,” said Gastanes of the decision of having the senior team coach also handling the Under-23 side. “There should be another coach who should just focus on the Under-23 team.”
Another reason why the PFF wants a separate coaching staff is the fact that both the SEA Games competition and World Cup Qualifying will run almost on the same dates in June.
After missing out on the 2013 event in Myanmar, the chef de mission Julian Camacho announced last week that a team will be sent this time with at least eight members of the Azkals within the age requirement. The PFF has already submitted an initial list of 50 players for the competition.
“We already submitted documents and have also been attending meetings,” said Gastanes. “We hope that we are able to send a team this time.”
This year’s SEA Games squad, Gastanes said, will be culled from the Under-22 team coached by Australian Jim Fraser as well as a few members of the senior side who are within the age limit, including Daisuke Sato and Amani Aguinaldo.
The Under-22 team which is also preparing for an AFC competition next year underwent training in Japan last month.
“We will appoint a coaching staff and management team soon so preparations can really take off,” said Gastanes.
By Karlo Sacamos THE Philippines may be on top of the Southeast Asian football scene on paper, but it remains to be seen on the field. That was proven once again in the Philippines recent Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup campaign where they missed out on a finals berth for third straight time, and team manager Dan Palami stressed that the ranking won’t matter without a title. “Until we get that Cup, we will be a potential Asean football power,” Palami said. “There’s nothing like the Cup to prove that we are indeed are a force to reckon with.” The top-ranked squad in the region at 128th, the Filipino booters bowed to lower-ranked squads in the AFF Cup. “Fifa ranking is never really a measurement of where a team is staying because you don’t play the same games,” Azkals coach Thomas Dooley admitted. “Some play more, some less, some against stronger teams, some against weaker teams.” Although they dispatched 159th-ranked Laos, 4-1, and 157th-ranked Indonesia, 4-0, in the group stage, the Azkals suffered disappointing defeats at the hands of 138th-ranked Vietnam, 3-0, in their final group stage match, and 144th-ranked Thailand, 3-0, on aggregate, in the semifinals. In a more glaring example last May, the Filipinos footballers lost 1-0 to a Palestine side that was ranked 165th in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup finale that enabled the country from the middle east to make a huge leap in the ranks to 94th. The Azkals also suffered a 3-2 extra-time loss to Myanmar in the Philippine Peace Cup virtual finale three months ago. The Azkals have played more friendlies compared to their Asean neighbors in preparation for the Suzuki Cup, greatly factoring in their current ranking. “But Fifa ranking doesn’t really show which team is better, which team is not,” Dooley said, although he believes the Filipino booters are on the right track. “The development we had so far is okay,” the German-American mentor said. “I think you can Bmove to a certain level where it’s a little bit more difficult.” “We just have to work harder to get to the next level,” he added. “Everything has to be a little bit faster. Every decision has to be made a little bit different and the urgency we have in the back has to be developed.” Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/azkals-fifa-ranking-aff-suzuki-cup-thomas-dooley-dan-palami Follow Us: @spinph on Twitter | spin.philippines on Facebook
MANILA, Philippines - While the Philippine Azkals look ahead to vying in next year’s Fifa World Cup qualifiers, the nation’s under-23 squad will also embark on their own tough mission aimed at the Rio Olympics.
The U-23 Azkals will compete in the qualifiers for the AFC U-23 Championship 2016, the designated qualifying meet in Asia for the Olympiad in Rio.
They will have their hands full in the group qualifiers slated March 2015, though, as they found themselves bracketed in Group G along with North Korea, Southeast Asian power Thailand, and Cambodia after last week’s official draw.
The winners of the 10 groups, as well as the five best second-placers and host Qatar will advance to the tournament proper in January 2016. The top three teams in the main event of the AFC U-23 tilt will move on to the 2016 Olympiad.
The Pinoy booters (U21 team) last played in the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) in Brunei, where they posted four points on a win, a draw and two losses. Last month, the squad coached by Australian Jim Fraser underwent training for 15 days at Osaka’s J-Green training facilities.
The Azkals will begin their World Cup quest in June 2015 yet in the first round of the qualification tilt.
The draw for the 40-nation field will be held April 2015, with teams divided into eight groups of five.
Under the new format, the Azkals expect to play four home games, giving them the needed boost from their supporters.
Meanwhile, Filipino clubs Global FC and Ceres La Salle FC will also see action internationally in 2015 at the AFC Cup, the continent’s second tier tourney for clubs.
Global FC, the United Football League (UFL) champs, was awarded a berth in Group G, where they take on either Yadnarbon or Yangon United of Myanmar, South China of Hong Kong, and Pahang FA of Malaysia.
Ceres, the UFL FA Cup holders, was granted a slot in playoff/preliminary round. The Bacolod-based club will dispute a berth in Group E with Mayiza Sports and Recreation of Maldives in February 2015.
TOP sports officials are batting for the inclusion of a football team in the Philippine delegation to the 2015 Southeast Asian Games in the wake of the Azkals' semifinal finish in the AFF Suzuki Cup. Julian Camacho, chief of mission of the Philippine team to next year’s SEA Games, said he is all for an Under-23 men’s team joining the delegation to the Singapore showpiece - two years after a football team failed to pass the screening for the 2013 Games in Myanmar. Camacho, however, said it will be the collegial decision of the SEA Games management committee, which is set to meet this week to discuss certain details like criteria and possible composition of athletes for next year’s Games. “Actually, pag-uusapan pa namin ‘yan. Hindi pa namin na-dedecide,” Camacho said. “Pero malamang papasok ‘yun.” An Under-23 team did not compete in the SEA Games two years ago after failing to get the nod of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) screening committee which only wanted ‘potential gold medalists’ in the delegation. But the Azkals' recent success should work in favor of the SEA Games team's bid to hurdle the screening. The seniors side made it to the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup. Prior to the tournament, the Azkals were also the top team in Southeast Asia based on Fifa rankings. Camacho also bared the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) has already submitted possible names for the Under-23 team, underlying their intention to be represented in the SEA Games. “Nakikita naman na maganda ang performance nila. Actually, nag-submit na sila ng mga pangalan and passports for documentation. Although hindi pa sila sigurado, at least nandyan na ‘yung papeles nila,” Camacho said. POC vice-president Joey Romasanta is also in favor of the inclusion of an Under-23 men’s football team in the SEA Games-bound delegation but hopes the PFF will be able to form a competitive team next year. “I’m for football to be included,” Romasanta said. “Ang problema kasi the last time was ‘yung Under-23, walang record kaya hindi makasama. Sinasabi naman nila na may laban pero they should try their best to make sure that the team is competitive." Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/aff-suzuki-cup-football-2015-sea-games-julian-camacho
First Round/Preliminary draw : 10. February 2015
Draw for the 12 lowest ranked countries in Asia . They meet in home and away matches in March
Second Round draw : 11. April 2015
40 countries in Asia , 8 groups of 5.
Matches start in June. Philippines will be in First Round.
Sources : UAE and Japan FA website
Seedings will probably be based on FIFA rankings.
The qualification structure is as follows:
First round (Preliminary round): The lowest ranked teams will play home-and-away over two legs to reduce the total number of teams to 40.
Second round: The 40 teams will be divided into eight groups of five to play home-and-away round-robin matches, where the eight group winners and the four best group runners-up will advance to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualification as well as qualify for the AFC Asian Cup finals.
Third round: The 12 teams (an increase from 10 for 2014) will be divided into two groups of six to play home-and-away round-robin matches. Dependent on the number of qualifiers from the AFC, the top two teams of each group will qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the two third placed teams will advance to the fourth round.
Fourth round: Dependent on the number of qualifiers from the AFC, the two third-placed teams in each group from the third round will play against each other home-and-away over two legs to determine which team will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
PHILIPPINE club football has made another significant step toward Asian relevance as the country has qualified for the Asian Football Confederation Cup. Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta confirmed the country has been allocated “1+1” slots in next year’s edition of the prestigious tournament featuring clubs from developing footballing nations in the continent. That means the Philippines will have one team, which will have an outright berth, and another, which will have to go through a playoff to gain entry. Araneta confirmed Global FC, the reigning United Football League league champion has been assigned the automatic slot, while national club UFL FA League Cup titlist Ceres-La Salle will have to go through a separate qualifier. The development came after the AFC revamped its club competitions last April, part of the changes disbanding the AFC President’s Cup and awarding the top participants entry to the higher-rung AFC Cup. Ceres represented the country in the last edition earlier this year when the club barely missed a spot in the final round, bowing to HTTU Asgabat in their last group stage match at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod. Global flew the flag last year, but also fell short. “We expect more home games for our club teams,” Araneta said. Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/news/global-fc-afc-cup-ceres-la-salle-playoff-berth-asian-football-confederation-cup
From: Karlo Sacamos THE Philippine Football Federation expressed willingness to reward men’s national team coach Thomas Dooley a new tenure after a year of ups and downs. Azkals manager Dan Palami earlier recommended in the middle of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup the extension of the German-American mentor’s one-year contract, which ends in February. Terms have yet to be finalized. “I have no objection to that,” PFF president Nonong Araneta said. “We’ve seen how he has shaped up the team: it’s really a team playing.” Dooley has also managed to keep the Azkals intact off the field, leading the pack amid a publicized falling out with overseas-based standouts Stephan Schrock and Dennis Cagara a few months ago. On the pitch, US national team skipper steered the Filipino footballers to numerous breakthroughs this year, although they fell short of expectations in major competitions. They wound up runners-up in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup and the Philippine Peace Cup, before missing the Suzuki Cup finals, the third straight for the Filipinos. “One setback is not (a basis of his extension),” Araneta said. “We just have to pick up the pieces and move forward.” “Now that we know the season’s over, we can start sitting together and think about what we are going to do. Am I still involved or not?” Dooley asked. The 53-year-old mentor said he “definitely” wants to stay at the helm of the national team. “I know the boss would like to work with me longer, so I hope so,” he said. “We’ll see what’s going to happen.” Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/news/pff-azkals-management-coach-thomas-dooley-contract-extension
The recent run in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup may lead to a changing of the guard for the Philippine Azkals.
As some veterans hinted at the possibility of playing their final Suzuki Cup, there were those who emerged from the shadows of their popular teammates to bring a lot of promise heading into future tournaments.
“Hopefully these experiences will be a good one for the youngsters,” Rob Gier said. “They could potentially have five more Suzuki Cups to learn and try to get that elusive victory.”
Among the young players who performed well in the Suzuki Cup were midfielder Manny Ott and defender Amani Aguinaldo.
Ott, 22, was a vital figure in the Azkals’ attack and left a lasting memory in the Suzuki Cup when he fired a 20-yard strike in the team’s 4-0 victory over Indonesia in the group stage held in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The 19-year-old Aguinaldo, who hails from Davao and is undergoing residency at the University of the Philippines, brought toughness on the Azkals backline by preventing left wingers from threatening.
As for Gier, retirement seems to be on the horizon, although he remains a key figure in the Azkals’ back four with his tidy defending.
“I’m nearly 34. Some say that never say never but I think it’s time for the younger legs to have a chance to take over. I’m not announcing anything yet but it’s highly likely that I won’t be able to play in the next Suzuki Cup,” he said.
THE THIRD straight semifinal exit of the Philippine Azkals in the AFF Suzuki Cup should not take away the inroads made by the squad this year.
Although they bowed to Thailand, 0-3, on aggregate in the semifinals last Wednesday in Bangkok, skipper Rob Gier and striker Phil Younghusband believe the Azkals are an improved side than in previous years.
The Azkals reached the finals of the AFC Challenge Cup this year in the Maldives, losing to Palestine in the title match. The Suzuki Cup proved to be a shot at redemption and while they impressed with wins over Laos and Indonesia in the group stages, the Azkals were once again a letdown when it came to big games.
“I think (the improvement) has been big but there’s obviously something still standing in the way of the team and we can’t get over that final hurdle,” said the 33-year-old Gier, who hinted that the 2014 edition could be his last Suzuki Cup.
There’s plenty of promise in the Azkals side as youngsters like Daisuke Sato and Amani Aguinaldo continued to develop, playing their second major tournament this year.
Except for games against Thailand and Vietnam, where he struggled, the 22-year-old Manny Ott stamped his authority at midfield, giving the Azkals a reliable option at the position for years to come.
Younghusband said the improvement of the side was apparent in the tournament, where the Azkals scored a total of nine goals. They were however shut out for the third straight semifinal, extending their drought to six matches since 2010.
“I think we discovered we can pass the ball and we can create chances to score passing the ball,” said Younghusband. “But there’s still a barrier that we have to get over. We’ve fallen short again and it’s something that we have to change.”
Younghusband said the standing in the competition is reflective of the infrastructure and the popularity of football in the countries in Southeast Asia.
“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Younghusband, lamenting the fact that the Azkals still struggle to fill up the 13,000-seater Rizal Memorial Stadium, while the Thais can easily lure a crowd of 50,000 for the semifinals.
Thailand proved too sharp for the Azkals in the second leg of their semifinal tie Wednesday night at Raja-mangala Stadium. The Thais will meet Malaysia in the finals, after the Tigers staged a stunning fightback in Hanoi to oust Vietnam, 5-4, on aggregate.
Gier said the loss to the Thais still stings.
“It never gets easier,” said Gier. “You put a lot of sacrifices—being away from my family the past six weeks. That’s what makes it even more difficult when you continually come up short.”
Gier added: “It was really hard work out there and I can’t blame anyone after this (defeat).”
“It’s a tough loss that we have to get out of the system,” said Denmark-based midfielder Jerry Lucena, who vowed to reinforce the side again in World Cup Qualifying next year.
“The squad has to be better if we expect to do well in the future,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.
AFC CUP 2015: Play-off schedule (East) Play-off Stage
PO1 Maziya Sports & Recreation (MDV) v Ceres La Salle FC (PHI) To be played on February 17, 2015 GROUP E
E1 Bengaluru FC (IND)
E2 Persipura Jayapura (INA)
E3 Warriors FC (SIN) - To be replaced by Tampines Rovers should Warriors FC qualify for the ACL Group Stage.
E4 Winner PO1 (winner Ceres Fc vs Maziya)
G1 Yadanarbon (MYA) - To be replaced by Yangon United should Yadanarbon qualify for the ACL Group Stage.
G2 South China (HKG)
G3 Global FC (PHI)
G4 Pahang FA (MAS)
WHILE not taking anything away from Thailand, the Philippine men’s football team rued the “dubious” officiating in their 3-0 loss to the host team in the second leg of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup semifinals at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.
The Azkals felt there were questionable calls and non-calls that went in favor of the Thais all throughout the crucial match, none more evident than the linesman’s decision to award the Thais a corner that translated into the first goal barely six minutes into the match.
“It’s already very difficult to play against a very strong team and against those fans, but it’s more difficult when you play, I normally don’t like to say this, against the linesman,” Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said. “The first goal came from a corner that wasn’t really a corner.”
Chanathip Songkrasin capitalized with a strike from the middle off a header by Narubadin Weerawatdodom, who caught a pinpoint cross from Kroekrit Thawikan from the left side. “The first goal put us under a hell of a lot of pressure,” skipper Rob Gier said. “But if you look at where that goal stemmed from, they won a corner, but there was never a corner.” “I don’t like to make excuses and dig out referees and linesmen,” the veteran defender said. “But for me, that was a big decision he got wrong. It kept us on the back foot. From there, it was always going to be an uphill struggle.” “But Thailand deserved the win,” Dooley said. “There were some dubious calls from the referee, but you can’t really blame them,” Azkals manager Dan Palami said. “At the end of the day, we create our own chances — or lack of it — and that’s how it is.” “Let’s go back to the drawing boards and ask yourself how you can get over this next barrier,” he added. Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta echoed Palami’s sentiments. “We expect that (officiating) in their home,” said Araneta, a former national team player. “It’s just a lesson that we just have to be focused on the game and not on the officiating.” spin.ph
By Cedelf P. Tupas BANGKOK—In a scene that has become all too familiar, the Philippine Azkals once again came to grief with another great opportunity gone begging. This time it came on a humid Wednesday night in the Thai capital, where the Azkals couldn’t cope with the Thailand onslaught and fell in a 0-3 setback in the second leg of their AFF Suzuki Cup semifinals at a packed Rajamangala Stadium here. And for the third straight time, the Azkals failed to find the back of the net in the tournament’s knockout stage. Coach Thomas Dooley Azkals and manager Dan Palami admitted the Thais were the better team with a boisterous flag-waving crowd of 50,000 backing them up. “With the level that they play and the environment that they have (here), it’s almost impossible not to play good,” said Dooley. “You still have a chance if you stay defensively organized and they can’t go through.” Unfortunately for the Azkals, it took just six minutes for the Thais to break them down. The early goal proved to be a heavy blow, but the knockout punch came at the hour mark as the Thais doubled the lead. Notwithstanding the loss, Dooley said the Azkals’ performance in the tournament showed that the team is headed in the right direction. “Were moving forward in the right direction,” he said. “We just don’t have a trophy and that’s what we’ve been praying for. Obviously we want to play at a different level and we all have to raise that level a little bit.” The Azkals registered their most convincing victories in the competition in this edition of the tournament, drubbing Laos (4-1) and Indonesia (4-0) in Hanoi to advance to the semifinals with a game to spare. They also snapped their losing streak to the Thais when they held them to a scoreless draw in the first leg in Manila. But the Azkals’ inability to score in the home game came back to haunt them here. Having backed the team for the past four years, Palami felt the pain of losing again. But the Azkals boss said there were still plenty of positives to draw from the setback. “I don’t know what to say because I am used to it. But a loss is always painful, especially this one because I know we could have gotten it if we kept our composure,” said Palami. “It’s back to the drawing board for us and ask ourselves how can we get past this next barrier.” Palami admitted the crowd played a huge factor in the victory. “It was intimidating and it took awhile for the players to settle down,” he said. “Maybe before we start dreaming about championships, maybe we could also start dreaming about fans really showing up for big games at home like the semifinals (last Saturday).”
BANGKOK - There are some ghosts that just refuse to be slayed. The Philippine men's football team fell prey to Thailand once again, 3-0, on Wednesday, and in the process, fell short of a finals berth in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup at the Rajamangala Stadium. The Azkals fell behind just six minutes into the match and never recovered from then on as they wilted under pressure playing in front of a boisterous crowd at the packed 80,000-seat venue. “Sometimes, if you want to win games like this in that kind of a stadium with so many fans and against a very strong team, everything has to fall in place, and it didn’t work in the right direction,” Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said. It was another heartbreaking result for the Filipino booters, who had aimed for no less than a title following two runner-up finishes in the AFC Challenge Cup and the Philippine Peace Cup earlier in the year. It was also the Azkals' 16th loss in 19 outings to the Thais, who have had their numbers for over four decades. Needing just a scoring draw to advance after holding the Thais to a scoreless draw in the first leg, the Azkals seemed to play without a sense of urgency and as a result, paid the price after Chanathip Songkrasin broke through their defense six minutes in with a strike from the middle that Patrick Deyto failed to save. Although the Azkals held the fort the rest of the first half, until Kroekrit Thawikan added to the Filipinos' misery with two goals in the second half for a Thai side that hardly missed top strikers Kirati Keawsombat due to injury and Adisak Kraisorn to suspension. The Azkals heard the boos from the crowd every time they touched the ball, with the loudest jeers toward young defender Amani Aguinaldo, who drew the foul in the first leg that led to the red card and suspension of Adisak. Martin Steuble conjured the Azkals’ best scoring chance in the second half with a long-range attempt from the left side that was just denied by the Thai goalkeeper. Read more at: http://www.spin.ph/football/azkals/news/philippine-azkals-lose-to-thailand-bangkok-semifinals-return-leg-football-soccer
BANGKOK — History or heartbreak? It is the moment of truth for Philippine men’s football team, which aims for a breakthrough final appearance in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup after coming just short in the two previous editions of the showpiece. Standing in the way is a Thailand side that now has the home-field advantage in the second leg of their semifinal showdown on Wednesday at the Rajamangala Stadium. Coming off a scoreless draw in the first leg in Manila last Saturday, the Filipino booters and Thais face off anew at 8 p.m. (Manila time) with the winner taking on the survivor of the other Final Four pairing between Vietnam and Malaysia. The Vietnamese are ahead after winning away in the first leg, 2-1. With the away-goal rule in play, the Azkals need just a scoring draw to advance to the final round, but are aiming for no less than a victory against a longtime tormentor in the War Elephants, who they haven’t beaten since 1972. “It’s an open game,” team manager Dan Palami said. “Both teams are wary of what could happen. But of course I feel that somehow our players had a glimpse of how we could play against them. “I think we don’t need to deviate from that formula,” he added. “We just need to be more clinical in our finishing and less tentative especially during the first minutes of each half because that’s where we are most vulnerable.”
After putting up what he feels was an excellent performance in the first leg, Azkals skipper Rob Gier feels one goal is all it takes for the Nationals to get over the hump following two close calls in the past two editions of the tournament. “We just got to score. It’s simple as that,” the Filipino-British defender said. “There’s no way we can play a hundred and eighty minutes performing like the way we did and not score a goal.” While Thai strike stars Kirati Keawsombat (hamstring injury) and Adisak Kraisorn (red card) are expected to be out and leave the hosts toothless in attack, the Azkals have plenty of offensive weapons led by Phil Younghusband, who created a handful of chances in the opener. “They have to be scared about us scoring a goal,” Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said. The Azkals, though, are in a familiar scenario. In the 2012 edition, they also settled for a scoreless draw against Singapore in the first leg in Manila, before bowing to the eventual champions, 1-0, in the second leg in the opponent’s turf. That’s what they hope to avoid this time. “It’s always at the back of your mind, but you can only be cautiously optimistic that this could be it,” Palami said. “It will be a battle of wills,” he added. “I think it’s going to be one of the most exciting matches in the whole tournament.”
BANGKOK – This edition of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup is getting hostile.
After a commotion in the Malaysia-Vietnam semifinal pairing where Malaysian home fans turned violent following their national team’s 2-1 loss to Vietnam in the opener, the other Last Four matchup is also heating up.
Philippine men’s football team manager Dan Palami aired security concerns, saying some Azkals are receiving death threats on social media from Thai fans ahead of the second leg of their semifinal showdown on Wednesday at the Rajamangala Stadium.
“Normally we wouldn’t take it seriously, but with what has been happening in the past matches where some fans take it to another level, I think it’s better to be on the safe side than on the sorry side,” Palami said on Tuesday. The Azkals boss declined which players have been getting the threats owing to security reasons, but assured they are safe after management has made communication with tournament organizers, the Philippine embassy, and security coordinators. “We have managed to address these concerns…and I think everything is covered.” Still, the Filipino booters are bracing for a hostile environment before an expected jampacked 80,000-seat venue. “We just want to make sure the players are insulated from all these,” Palami added. “It’s our job from the management side to make sure all our players are protected.”
By Jerome Galunan Jr.
The Negros Occidental Minulu-an FC Lady Booters placed 1st runner-up in the recently-concluded 19th Alaska Football Cup played at the Alabang Country Club.
The Negrenses, who were among the 21 teams from all over the country participating in the Under 18 Ladies category, bowed to Ateneo de Davao FC, 2-nil, in the finals.
It was also the same side which the Negrense Lady Booters lost to during the elimination, 3-2.
En route the finals, the Minulu-an FC bounced back from a loss to Ateneo de Davao with a hard earned victory over De La Salle Zobel, 3-nil, followed by a devastating 19-0 win over Friendship Paiyabe and a 4-1 triumph against Hed Center.
In the quarter finals, the Negrense side ruled over Sakya Davao FC, 4-1, while survived Ateneo de Cebu FC in the semifinals, 3-2.
The Minulu-an FC was bracketed in Group A with Ateneo de Davao FC, De La Salle Zobel, Hed Center Manila FC, and Friendship Paiyabe Manila FC.
The Negrense side was composed of skipper Noelle Mikaela de Asis, Charisa Marie Lemoran, Janna Ysabelle Lagman, Monica Therese Lizares, Anna Mikaila Escario, Christine Michelle Miranda, Francisca Anne Marie Surete, Bea Marie Gavile, Mauriccia Limco, Mariessa Lusabia, Mickaella Marie Descalzo and keeper Natasha Katerina Lacson.
The team was managed by club president Rafael Lizares Jr, and members of the coaching staff included Carlo Lucero, Carlo Torbela and Warren Concepcion./ WDJ
BANGKOK (8 Dec 2014) – Please be informed that the Team Managers’ meeting and also the pre-match Press Conference for the second-leg, semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 between Thailand and the Philippines will be held as per below:
TEAM MANAGERS’ MEETINGS – Thailand vs Philippines
Date: 9 December 2014
Venue: Golden Tulip Hotel, Bangkok
PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE – Thailand vs Philippines